The Alt-Azimuth Mount is the simplest type of mounting for telescopes. There are a number of variations but all share a common characteristic, that there are two axes about which the telescope can be moved which are perpendicular to one another.
The first axis permits the telescope to be moved from horizontal to vertical andis known as the 'altitude axis'.
The second allows the instrument to be moved in an arc parallel to the horizon through a complete 360 degree circuit of the compass.
This is the azimuth axis. So a telescope mount permitting motion about both such axes is call an Alt-Azimuth.
Typically in it's most basic form there is a slow motion control in the form of a threaded rod that is operated by a thumbwheel permitting precise control of the telescope's tube in altitude.
On more sophisticated mounts there is provision for slow motion controls in both altitude and azimuth, allowing for much finer control when tracking celestial objects at high power.
The continual changing of altitude and azimuth as a celestial body rises in the east, traverses the sky and sets to the west makes tracking an object at high magnification somewhat of a challenge.
It is however quite surprising how soon one someone can become proficient at doing so.
If any form of time exposure is required to photograph a distant galaxy, then a different type of telescope mounting known as an equatorial mount will be needed.
Vixen Mini Porta Mount
Vixen's gear drives makes it a simple matter to precisely track a planet or a ship on the horizon by simply turning the elevation and or azimuth control handles.
Vixen Porta II
This is an extremely popular alta-zimuth mount suitable for novices as well as seasoned amateur astronomers who have a preference for high mobility, simplicity of use and a stable, comfortable platform.
Vixen StarGuy Pro features the well designed Porta II head on top of the HAL130SXG heavy duty tripod for a rigid platform with superb stability.
Vixen Skypod Mount
The Skypod incorporates a compact computer controlled Alt-Az system that automatically slews the telescope from one object to another
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